Week 4: the Cruel Mother and Over the hills and far away

Nearly a year ago the redoubtable Sedayne announced the Landfill project, a 40th anniversary collective re-recording of Martin Carthy’s Landfall. For a variety of reasons the project never really took off, but I thought & still think it was a fine idea. This week’s songs are both Landfall songs; if the project does ever happen, I’d be very happy for them to be Landfill songs.

FS04 is The Cruel Mother: one of many variants of a very old song, listed by Francis Child as ballad 20. Over the hills is probably a bit younger, but it does date back – in its original, more cheerful form – to the reign of Queen Anne; it’s 300 years old, in other words. It still sounds relevant.

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